How Much Money Should I take?

With every vacation the question arises, how much cash should I take?  Do I need more than 1 credit card and/or ATM card?  Should I take Travelers Checks? I advise you take both cash and credit card, and leave the Travelers Checks at home. 

Here is why:

Travelers Checks as a main source of payment is becoming rare and most businesses do not take them.  The exchange rate, plus a cashing fee, will end up costing more than its worth. 

With today’s technology a street vendor may have the ability to take an ATM or credit card, but simple everyday purchases like a souvenir or a bottle of water while walking down the street in Paris will be easier bought with cash than credit.   If you run out, ATMs are everywhere and will distribute cash in the local currency.  

While making larger purchases in Europe, using a credit card will take the hassle out of the currency exchange rate.  Remember that each credit card company is different when it comes to foreign transaction fees.  I suggest checking with you credit card company so you are not surprised when you get home.

Taking a single credit card with you can be risky. You need to be prepared for any circumstance as you are a long way from home.  I always suggest having a backup.  Keep it separate from the other/s.  If lost or stolen you can still enjoy your vacation with little or no hassle.

With that said, remember to write down the 1800 numbers provided on the back of your credit cards in case it is lost or stolen.  You will need those numbers to call the credit card company as soon as possible.

On a final note, you should contact your credit card/bank before leaving to inform them that you are leaving the country and to check your daily spending limit and increase or decrease as you see fit.   You don’t want your card declined due to safety precautions when trying to use them.

Most of all, spend wisely, and enjoy your vacation!